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North-West University (2019)

The size and scope of agri-tourism in South Africa

Van Zyl, Christelle Charlien

Titre : The size and scope of agri-tourism in South Africa

Auteur : Van Zyl, Christelle Charlien

Université de soutenance : North-West University

Grade : Master of Commerce in Tourism Management 2019

Résumé partiel
The term agri-tourism is still a relatively new concept in South Africa and few farmers are aware of what exactly it entails. Agri-tourism overlaps with several different tourism sectors, including ecotourism, rural tourism, wildlife/hunting tourism, adventure tourism, geotourism, cultural and heritage tourism, and wine tourism. Most of these industries have natural elements to them, and all of these industries require a sustainable approach. Some of the biggest advantages of agri-tourism include farmers gaining an additional income, creating more job opportunities for local communities, economic benefits to the local area, preservation of natural and cultural elements of the area, and it diversifies farming activities. Literature reviews reveal several studies that focussed on agri-tourism around the world, especially during the past decade. Research on agri-tourism in South Africa focused mainly on investigating area-specific agri-tourism such as wine tourism in the Western Cape, agri-festivals such as the NAMPO Harvest Day, and agri-tourism in Limpopo. These research studies were conducted either from a supply perspective (farmers) of from a demand perspective (tourists). No study focusing on what agri-tourism activities/attractions were available in South Africa – the supply perspective – was found. Therefore, the goal of this research was to determine the size and scope of agri-tourism in South Africa by examining agri-tourism activities/attractions that farmers were hosting on their farms. This goal was achieved through four specific objectives, namely to (1) analyse theories and relevant literature concerning tourism and agri-tourism in South Africa and in other parts of the world ; (2) analyse the agriculture sector of South Africa to determine the status of agri-tourism and what it included, as well as what the different provinces had to offer tourists, which would also determine the size of the contribution that agri-tourism made to farms in South Africa ; (3) conduct a survey to achieve the objectives of this research by determining the size and scope of agri-tourism and to compare different agri-tourism activities in different provinces ; and (4) draw conclusions concerning the size and scope of agri-tourism in South Africa and make recommendations for farmers and other stakeholders in the industry to optimise the opportunities that this sector has to offer. The first literature review (Chapter 2) showed that different researchers had identified different definitions for agri-tourism over the years, but no universal definition existed yet. For the purposes of this study, agri-tourism was defined as any activity or attraction that allows the tourist to visit a working/commercial farm for education, enjoyment or to be actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the farm. Bernardo et al. (2004:1) mention five main categories in which all agri-tourism activities and attractions can be divided. These five categories made up the framework for the research and included outdoor recreation, educational experiences, entertainment, hospitality services, and direct sales on the farm. The literature also refers to 84 different types of agri-tourism activities/attractions around the world that are divided into these five categories.

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